Monday, 25 July 2011

Steamy Nights...

Since I find steampunk such a fascinating genre, I suppose it isn't surprising I tried my hand at a story of my own.   It began life as three serial novellas, but in the end was published with all three stories together in one ebook. Steamy Nights is a rather naughty steampunk romance with Changeling Press. Here's the blurb and an opening excerpt, set in Victorian Edinburgh.

Available now from Changeling Press

Love, lust, and revenge, woven through the twisted chaos of time…

Fighting for her life in Edinburgh's dark, dangerous streets, Miri stabs the wrong man -- and ends up in his arms, sparking a sequence of events that alters history, with catastrophic consequences.

Wrongfully exiled from his own dimension, Caratacus is determined to find a way home. But that's going to be difficult using only nineteenth century steam technology -- even more difficult when distracted by the sort of steam he creates with Miri!

Before he can go home, he has to set things right. That means hunting down a Jack the Ripper copycat, preventing Robert Louis Stevenson from becoming an engineer, and helping a brutal, game-playing civilization protect itself from cannibals -- all without destroying the intense but fragile love he's found with Miri.

After that, reversing time should be easy.


        Tonight, “Auld Reekie” lived up to its name.

        Miri shivered in the dank mist that clung to her hair and clothes and almost entirely obliterated the dismal street ahead. She wondered if she should risk approaching the one faint glow in the dark -- which had to be the World’s End pub -- and find some warmth.

        The trouble was, you got better trade through discretion. Men were warier of paying for their pleasures in front of friends. And God knew she needed customers tonight. Billie would be furious if she didn’t bring in some money. She really didn’t want to give him an excuse to rage, or to sell her on, not now with all this going on…

        And as her unquiet stomach reminded her, another day without food would leave her weak and open to illness.

        Miri drew her thin, shabby shawl more closely around her, and shifted from one foot to another in a vain attempt to prevent the damp seeping through the holes in her ancient boots.

        She thought she heard something -- a shuffling sound muffled by the thick, smoke-laden fog. It came from behind her, at the steep steps leading down to the least savory part of the city. The hairs on the back of her neck prickled, forcing her into motion.

        She took a few hurried steps forward, nearer the pub’s welcoming glow, careful to keep hold of the small, sharp scissors in her pocket.

        $How are customers meant to see me in this pea-soup?$ she wondered miserably. $Why are none of them on the street yet?$

        Because they’re all safe and cozy in the pubs, gossiping with delicious shivers, no doubt, about the disappearing girls. Like Jeanie.

        Her empty stomach twisted. The loss of her friend and mentor was huge. She missed her companionship, her laughter, her sheer practical good-sense. She hated to imagine what had happened to Jeanie and to the others… This was Edinburgh’s old town -- rank, filthy, smoky, riddled with dark passages and grim corners where murder could be done without interruption…

        Three men loomed out of the mist, almost on top of her. Startled, she fell back with a silent gasp of terror.


  1. Wow, great snippet, Marie! I'll have to track this one down! I didn't know you'd tried your hand at steampunk :)

  2. Congrats on the New Release! I couldn't get my email or blogger to cooperate yesterday, but U so wanted to visit your blog...*S* I just started reading steampunk a few months ago and I find it fascinating the worlds that authors create. They are awesome and so unique. I like scifi, but sometimes get overwhelmed with the detail in the science, and it distracted from the story. Loved your excerpt, and have put your book on my gotta have list for sure!
    Thank you!



  3. Hi Fedora - you know me, I like to try them all :). I'd like to come back to steampunk again one day - so much wonderful scope there!

    Hello, Darcy, very glad you made it today! I'm a bit like you, I think - I like compelling characters in order to get into sci-fi, and much steampunk seems to offer that in spades :). Glad you liked the excerpt, and thanks for adding it to your list!


  4. This is a great story, I really enjoyed it!! You should be sure not to miss it!!!

    in Germany

  5. Catching up a little late with the party, and I like the look of that one.

  6. Thanks, Stevie - glad to hear it :).